Wednesday 4 January 2017

2016 Highlights + 2017 Goals

I think we can pretty much agree that on a global scale 2016 was pretty grim. With the death of many loved icons, the election of Trump, the numerous terrorist attacks and dreadful conflicts worldwide, I think most people just wanted 2016 to feck off.

With the risk of sounding self-centred (well, it's a personal blog after all) I have to admit however, that last year was a good one for me in many regards. Of course not everything was perfect; I had bad hair days, some disappointments and a pretty low immune system at the end of the year and but they were nothing compared to the many good things that happened to me.

I like focusing on the positives here so I thought I'd share some of my highlights as well as mentioning some of my 2017 goals.

2016 Highlights + 2017 Goals

Mr and Mrs FFID

One obvious highlight was finally getting married to Mr. FFID after 11 years together. The posts I wrote about getting married and the one about the wedding itself were some of the most read articles on FFID last year and I couldn't believe all the good wishes I received from you, you must all be romantic old souls!

2017 goal: While 2016 was the year of the 'Fuck it, it's the year we're getting married', we might be a little more reasonable this year, to be able to move to a FFID nest of our own at some stage.

Delicious Dublin Tours

Even though the wedding was a little distraction last year and I took more time off than before, I focused on Delicious Dublin Tours. I've been thrilled to see it get busier than the previous year and 2017 already looks like it's going to be a good one.

2017 goal: I am going to grow my food tour business and I'm going to have to take someone else on board to help me do so later this year. Feel free to send me your cvs!


Besides the tours I've been working as a digital marketing manager with a fine foods company since 2015; I really enjoyed being part of their team in 2016 and 2017 is going to be even more interesting.

I also collaborated with brands for the first time and produced sponsored content for Grey Goose and Bord Bia last year. Besides the fact that I felt weird (in a good way) to be paid for blogging, I enjoyed the process of coming up with content for them.

I was also asked to run a five week blogging course at the Irish Writers Centre. I had a blast teaching a lovely group and it went so well that I've been asked to run another one in February.

I've also gave a talk on food tourism at a Dublin Food Chain event and even though I was a little nervous at it for some reason, I had many business owners approaching me at the end or emailing me afterwards.

Last but not least I am thankful to the food businesses I work with on my food tours, they're brilliant!

2017 goal:  I am definitely going to collaborate more with brands in terms of content creation, while keeping my integrity and staying transparent with my readers.

Press features

I'm very grateful to the media for mentioning me a few times in the last year. I was live on Radio Canada and Spin 103.8 telling the world how Irish food must be celebrated. I was also mentioned in the Irish Independent , the Irish Times and the Sunday Times.

2017 goal: Try not to feel embarrassed when people mention my press features in real life and just be more confident about it.

Becoming an Irish food champion

I was truly honoured to be chosen as one of Fáilte Ireland's food champions. They received over 400 nominations so I couldn't believe I made it onto this cracking team of 22 people who are mostly chefs. I think I was a bit stunned because I'm not Irish, it really meant something to me.

2017 goal: As a food champion I have to come up with an initiative to develop food tourism in Ireland. I'm going to work towards this and make it happen.


In 2016 I went to some lovely destinations for food lovers. I was lucky enough to go on a dream press food trip to the Dordogne Valley, I went a benchmarking trip to Denmark with Fáilte (blog post to follow), on a foodie trip to London and  I went to New York at the most magical time of the year.

2017 goal: I am going to explore the Dordogne Valley a bit more. I am also going to beautiful Donegal and the South of Spain for a wedding.

Food experiences

I enjoyed going back to old favourites and discovering some exciting new spots which you can read about in my Best of 2016. I also ticked two fine dining restaurants off my list in 2016: The Greenhouse and Thornton's. They were both great dining experiences that I won't forget and will always remind me of the year I got married. Where are the reviews? I hear you saying. Well they're in my little head along with the great memories of having fancy romantic dinners with Mr. FFID. So now you know, I don't blog about everything I eat!

2017 goal: I made a list of places I want to try and I will stick to it. Of course they will be new openings but there are some places I've been meaning to visit for ages and I will visit them this year.

Running the Dublin half-marathon

One of my biggest personal achievements, I was able to run 21km without stopping or dying at the end. I'm so glad I did and I will do it again!

2017 goal: Keep running as it keeps me sane and fit, eat more vegetables and drink more water.

Work/life balance

When you're freelance and work mostly from home, the lines between working and time off are blurry... However I got much better at having a rhythm last year and took real time off. I also managed to do a digital detox which was pure bliss. 

2017 goal: Get sh*t done but also be able to unplug more often.

FFID & You

Yes, the blog was a highlight of 2016 like it has been a highlight of my life for the last 4 years. I kept at it once again this year and wrote about things I loved. Why? Well it's all thanks to you, because many of you have been following me for all these years, some of you sent me lovely emails or talked to me in the streets of Dublin in 2016. I'm so grateful that you take the time to read this blog or interact with me on social media and I don't take you for granted so thanks a million!

2017 goal: I want to go back to my old schedule of blogging at least 3 times of week and I'm going to work on the blog more to grow FFID as a brand. I failed at posting recipes last year and really want to give it a shot. I want to meet some readers in real life this year and grow the community around the blog more.

2017, I'm ready for you. I hope you too, dear readers, are ready to tackle all your goals, dreams and fears. It's only up to you to make it your year!